Greece’s state natural gas company DEPA has received nine expressions of interest to transport gas within a Greek-Bulgarian natural gas pipeline scheme.
Bulgaria and Greece signed last year a final investment agreement to build a natural gas pipeline, the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB). That project and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), another pipeline scheme which will take natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, have the potential of turning Greece into an energy hub in southern Europe.
Bulgaria’s state-owned energy holding company BEH has 50 percent in the joint venture which will build IGB, while Greek state energy firm DEPA and Edison hold 25 percent each.
Interested parties had been invited to submit initial interest for transporting 4.3 bcm of gas per year from Greece to Bulgaria and about 1 bcm from Bulgaria to Greece, DEPA said in a statement.
The non-binding process, which was launched in December, ended on April 8, it said.
The submission of binding bids will start after Greek and Bulgarian energy authorities provide the necessary guidelines and approvals, DEPA said.
After years of delays, the construction of IGB with an initial annual capacity of 3 billion cubic metres per year is expected to start in October 2016.
Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova is expected inn Athens shortly to discuss energy issues, Greece’s energy ministry said in April.